The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Jake Guentzel to a five-year contract extension, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal begins with the 2019-20 season and runs through the 2023-24 campaign, and it carries an average annual value of $6 million.
"Jake established himself as an impact player for our team from the beginning, especially during 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs," Rutherford said. "He has become a core player on the team and we are thrilled to get Jake signed long-term with the Penguins."
Guentzel, 24, has been one of the Penguins' top offensive performers since joining the club on a full-time basis midway through the 2016-17 season. He has done some of his best work during the postseason, including his starring role in the Penguins' 2017 Stanley Cup championship run.
When Pittsburgh won the Cup in '17, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Guentzel led all NHL players in postseason goal scoring with 13 goals, the second-most ever by a rookie in league history. His 21 points tied the NHL rookie record, while his five game-winners set a new NHL rookie mark.
Last spring, Guentzel was even more prolific in the playoffs, scoring 10 goals and totaling 21 points in just 12 games. Despite playing just two rounds, he ended up fourth among all skaters in goals, and tied for fifth in points. Guentzel joined Penguins' Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux as the only players in NHL history to reach double digits in goals in each of their first two playoff runs.
After just two postseason appearances, Guentzel has not only accumulated a Stanley Cup ring, but his 23 goals are tied for seventh-most in Penguins' postseason history, and his 42 points are 13th. Among all NHL players during that span, Guentzel's goal total ranks first , while his point total is only exceeded by linemate Sidney Crosby (48).
This year, Guentzel is poised to once again establish new regular-season highs in all categories. Thus far he has 15 goals, 18 assists and 33 points in 36 games. His high-scoring exploits have included his first regular-season hat trick on November 24 against Columbus and a career-best six-game point streak that ran from his hat trick through December 6 (4G-6A-10PTS). In 158 career regular-season games, Guentzel has 53 goals, 61 assists and 114 points.
Guentzel, who was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but grew up in Minnesota, was originally drafted by the Penguins in the third round (77th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. Among all players from his draft class, Guentzel's 0.34 goals per game average is second behind Calgary's Sean Monahan (0.37), while his 0.72 points per game average is fourth, trailing only Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon (0.87), Florida's Alexsander Barkov (0.78) and Monahan (0.75). Those three were all chosen within the first six picks that June.